Monday, November 23, 2009

Another classic example of yellow journalism, full of lies by Yvonne Wingett

submitted by a reader

Yvonne Wingett, the Arizona Republic hack reporter assigned to cover Maricopa County government, developed a pattern of playing fast and loose with the facts. In the absence of any real news, she makes up her own. Her close relationship with the County Supervisors, colors her coverage of all county affairs. She turns a blind eye to the Supervisors' illegal acts and gives their attempts to take over other county agencies a free pass. She is complicit in assisting the Supervisors smear other county agencies and is often seen cozying up to the County PIO, Richard de Uriarte. Take the article she wrote in Saturday's Arizona Republic about an audit of the County Treasurer's Office, entitled “Audit Cites Treasurer's Office Slip-ups.” Did she even bother to read it first (the entire audit is pasted below)? ( )

The Supervisors ordered an audit of the County Treasurer's Office for no reason other than to harass the office, which had not been acceding to its demands. Wingett ignores the overall positive report, and instead accuses the office of mishandling procurement and the hiring of contractors. She asserts that “the office failed to follow county procurement policies on tens of thousands of dollars of contracts.” This sounds terrible, but in reality, it involved two contracts for computer services. One of them was arranged by the County's OET division, not the Treasurer's Office. So the County Supervisors should have been dinged for failing to follow procurement policies, not the Treasurer's Office.

As for Wingett's other accusation, she says the office did not properly formalize agreements before hiring two contract employees. She left out the fact that both the hiring and the payments took place during the prior administration. The exact quote from the report on the issue is,

The payments to Help Desk Technology and Teri Johnson occurred before November 13, 2007 and were authorized by the previous Treasurer.”

She also ignores the main audit finding:

“For the period reviewed, we found that TIF expenditures were in compliance with ARS §11-495. In addition, we found that TIF revenues were collected and recorded in compliance with this statute.”

Why would she do this? Simple, it's more helpful to the Supervisors to smear their enemy’s current County Treasurer.

This kind of reporting demonstrates that Wingett cannot be trusted to be a fair and impartial reporter. She is the very model of the worst kind of reporter. Her biases come through, and it is reporting like hers that is the reason why people are increasingly deserting the Arizona Republic as a legitimate news source. She is a discredit to all real reporters and an embarrassment to the Arizona Republic, and that’s hard to do.


  1. Wingnut basically works for Sandi Wilson and David Smith and has been promised work at the County just like the other ex-Repugnant reporters. Essentially...she is on the take. The Auditor (a shill org for David Smith) actually dinged Steve Wetzel, the head crook at OET. His crimes have gone on unimpeded with all the lawyer buffering...he continues to hire hacks from Gateway Community College tasked with spending millions that him and they don't have a clue about. Even the NewTimes reported on his escapades and no one questions it. If Wingnut had half a brain, she could get the Pulitzer for uncovering all the corruption right under her nose with Sandi, David Smith and the lobotomized Board.

  2. Here is the NewTimes actually getting right for once:

  3. Ms. Wingett, what is it that is so frightening about the truth? Contemporary journalism, or that which masquerades as that once noble profession, has deteriorated into agenda communication. The result for “journalists” is unintended consequences.

    At first, we may believe their mendacious screeds, but over time, learn that they are out to destroy what is good, and promote what is bad.

    And the consequence is, we stop believing them. Were they to write of rain during the floods of Noah, we might tend to dismiss the veracity of their reports.

    Ms. Wingett, you are your colleagues are now of little importance in the flow of public events. We no longer believe you; we no longer wish to purchase the papers for which you write; nor watch the TV channels for which you report; nor listen to the radio stations on which you speak.

    Down and down you go, but you do not understand why. We wish you a fond farewell as you descend into the dustbins of yesterday, soon to be collected and discarded onto the rubbish heaps of anonymity. We will not miss you, but will miss the true journalists of days gone by.

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